figaro case study:  building a daily news brief to engage users early in the day

Case studybuilding a daily news brief to engage users early in the day

project overview

After the redesign of the Figaro mobile apps in May 2016, I got to work on a new feature on the Figaro app during summer 2016.

One recurring problem our users (and most people) encountered was: staying informed requires time if you are trying to stay in the loop of what's happening in the world on a daily basis. There is so much content available, so many media to choose from. How do you create clarity in a cluttered world?

Brainstorming around this user problem brought us to an idea: creating a morning news brief, that would encapsulate the essential news for our users to keep them informed and, at the same time, enable them to create a selection of articles they would want to read during the day, if they wanted further information about a specific news.

the objectives of this new feature

the solution

After exploring different ideas during a workshop, we settled for a Story format, just like on social media. At the time, 👻 Snapchat was considered the next big thing and Instagram was working on a Story format for its own app.

Stories seemed liked the ideal format for Le Figaro to solve its users' problem. They're very visual and easy to read, you can quickly skip whatever content is not interesting to you, and they're very quick to go through.

We needed to create several templates, so that our journalists could also adapt the stories they'd create to their constraints. For instance, though we recommended using mostly photos and videos as background for the stories to be more immersive, they sometimes had low quality photos or none at all.

The goal of these different templates was also to avoid a sense of monotony, if all the stories were going to look the same.

The card before the last one was made so our users, after having read all the news, would be able to save articles for later. The use case would be: "I have read an interesting story and would like to know more about it, but I don't have the time now".


Designing this new feature was a highlight. After working on redesigning the whole app, it was now time to start adding new features and testing new ideas to bring value to our users.

The morning brief was a hit in terms of views at the launch of the feature and did help with user engagement. One thing we improved after we observed disappointing numbers with the "save for later" use: we moved the ability to save an article directly in each story instead of leaving a summary at the end.

As of 2023, the stories still exist and are now used to enrich articles and even have a dedicated section on the app and the website.
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